Olivia Hutton ’16

I knew I wanted to join a smaller community and be part of a more intimate learning setting. Seattle Pacific University met all those needs. When I found the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) major, everything started to fall into place. The overall mission is to help people improve the quality of life through clothes, food, shelter and relationships. I had found a major that transformed my life’s goal of helping children and families in underserved and under-resourced communities. My education allowed me to channel my newfound strengths and confidence in advocacy; to actively participate in social and economic change.

During my university education, I worked at Kidspace Childcare Center in classrooms varying in ages from two to six-year-olds. After graduation, I was promoted to full-time Assistant Teacher in the infant room, and again promoted to Lead Teacher in the infant room, 2020. I felt my strengths and skills were best suited for caring for the most vulnerable population in the center. Most days involve bottle feedings, diaper changes, rocking to sleep, and play. However, the component that is crucial in our everyday work at Kidspace is respecting the child in their emotions and autonomy. Through my engagement and conversations with my infants, I am enabling them to grow their vocabulary and comprehension, regulate their emotions, and feel pride in their developmental milestones. My time at SPU taught me that all humans deserve respect. My major is the foundation of my professional life and all the caring faculty are a wealth of knowledge.